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Having insurance is not a foolproof way to prevent medical debt

Think having medical insurance means that you don't have to worry about huge medical bills? Think again. A Tennessee resident can have medical insurance, go to a caregiver within the insurance plan and still wind up with unexpectedly large bills.

Consider an example from the west coast. A woman bought premium health insurance, she researched her hospital and her doctor to make sure they were covered by her plan. Things began as expected. She visited the doctor; the initial visit cost $40.

But then things started going awry. She saw the doctor again, this time to get an epidural nerve block. A few weeks later, she got the bill - which was for $18,000. She was floored. Why such a big bill? Because the procedure was done in a surgical suite on the second floor of the hospital. That does not sound like much, but the location transformed the doctor from an in-network provider to an out-of-network one.

Even worse, the procedure did not work, which prompted her to schedule surgery. As part of the scheduling process, the woman made doubly sure that the surgeon and the hospital were covered by her plan. But, again the bill did not turn out as planned. This time she was charged $9,000 because one of the assistant surgeons was not in her network. And then she received a second bill because her anesthesiologist was also not in her network.

While Tennessee residents may not be as unlucky as the woman, the point is that "life happens." A person can do their homework and still end up with a pile of medical debt. Tennessee residents in this unenviable position may benefit from evaluating whether filing for bankruptcy makes sense for them.

Source: CBS, "Fully Insured Woman Saddled With Thousands Of Dollars In Medical Debt," July 11, 2016

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Mark T. Young & Associates
2895 Northpoint Blvd.
Hixson, TN 37343

Toll Free: 888-376-0282
Phone: 423-933-1606
Fax: 423-877-0363
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